Israel’s opposition agree coalition deal to oust Netanyahu.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s opponents claim to have reached a deal to form a new governing coalition, paving the way for the removal of the long-time Israeli leader.

The dramatic announcement by opposition leader Yair Lapid and his main coalition partner, Naftali Bennett, came moments before a midnight deadline and prevented the country from plunging into what would have been its fifth consecutive election in just over two years.

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud won the most seats in the March 23rd election, but he was unable to form a majority with his traditional religious and nationalist allies.

Crucially, a far-right party allied with Mr Netanyahu refused to join forces with a small Arab party that emerged as one of the kingmakers in the race.

With 35 minutes left before his 21-day mandate to form a government expired, Mr Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, informed president Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday night that he had managed to cobble together a coalition.

However, it is still not a done deal and it would be premature to declare the end of the era of Mr Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

The coalition, the most bizarre in Israel’s history, will only be sworn in in 12 days’ time.

Twelve days is a long time in Israeli politics and the right, led by Mr Netanyahu, plans to mount a fierce campaign to persuade the right-wing members of the emerging government to change their mind and “return home” to a coalition led by the Likud.

Disputes over the makeup of a committee for appointing high court judges and how the government tackles illegal building in the Arab sector delayed a deal until just before the deadline.

The so-called coalition of change consists of 8 parties from the far-right to the left and the United Arab List, Ra’am, marking the first time an Arab party will join an Israeli government. The only glue keeping the parties together is the desire to end the Netanyahu era and to prevent Israel’s fifth election in two and a half years.

Mr Netanyahu, who has been in power for the last 12 years, has no intention of going without a fight. He has already labelled the coalition a danger to Israel’s security and accused Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Yamina party, who will serve first as prime minister in a rotation agreement with Mr Lapid, of deceiving the electorate by joining with the left.

Mr Netanyahu, who is standing trial on serious corruption charges, has failed to form a government after four inconclusive elections.

Coincidently, the Knesset also voted for a new president on Wednesday, electing Yitzhak Herzog to replaced Reuven Rivlin, whose seven-year term expires next month.

Herzog easily defeated Miriam Peretz, a mother of two soldiers who fell in battle and the recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize.

Currently the chair of the Jewish Agency, the body which encourages diaspora Jews to immigrate to Israel, Mr Herzog previously headed the Labour party.

Yitzhak is the son of Chaim Herzog who was born in Belfast and raised in Dublin, Israel’s sixth president who served a decade-long two terms from 1983 to 1993.

Yitzhak (or Isaac in English) Herzog was named after his grandfather, who, before becoming Israel’s first Chef Rabbi, served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1921 and 1936.

A fluent speaker of the Irish language, his grandfather supported the First Dáil and the Irish republican cause during the Irish War of Independence, and became known as “the Sinn Féin Rabbi.” He expressed support for both the Irish Republican Army and the Irgun, the radical paramilitary group led by Menachem Begin who fought the British in mandate Palestine. - Additional reporting AP

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Brazil: The city of Belo Horizonte slows down - Global Ideas.

Brazil: The city of Belo Horizonte slows down - Global Ideas.

Traffic controls, extensive bike paths and paved sidewalks aren’t exactly common in Brazil. The city of Belo Horizonte is setting a good example with its transport planning. A low speed limit zone and children’s play areas have transformed one are...

#MoneyTok: How the expanded child tax credit will put more money in your bank account soon.

#MoneyTok: How the expanded child tax credit will put more money in your bank account soon.

President Biden's expansion of the child tax credit will put cash in the accounts of qualifying families every month, starting July 15. Here are the details. CBSN is CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service featuring live, anchored coverage a...

Big Retailers Counter Amazon Prime Day By Slashing Prices.

Big Retailers Counter Amazon Prime Day By Slashing Prices.

Amazon Prime day is one of the biggest sales of the year. Other retailers are slashing prices and staging their own events to keep up. Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge explains the best bargains going on. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC ...

Clashes erupt between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Clashes erupt between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem on Monday night (June 21). Israeli police used force to the prevent the fight between two groups in which chairs and stones were thrown. ...

Supreme Court Doesn’t Buy NCAA Legal Argument In Antitrust Case.

Supreme Court Doesn’t Buy NCAA Legal Argument In Antitrust Case.

The Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA cannot stop universities from giving athletes education-related benefits. NBC News’ Pete Williams explains how this could affect student athletes being paid. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NB...

Southeast Hit By Tropical Storm Claudette

Southeast Hit By Tropical Storm Claudette

Alabama’s Governor has declared a state of emergency in eight counties so residents can rebuild. The severe weather is responsible for at least 12 deaths. More extreme weather also hit the Midwest, giving a dangerous warning for the start of the s...